The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Bill Shorten

Bill Shorten

Minister for Financial Services & Superannuation

14 September 2010 - 1 July 2013

Media Release of 13/07/2012

NO.044

Penalties for Promoters of Illegal Early release Superannuation Schemes

The Government will introduce penalties to deter promoters of illegal early release superannuation schemes.

Illegal early release schemes are generally promoted to people as a means of accessing their superannuation benefits prior to being eligible to receive those benefits.

"This measure is an important part of the Government's Stronger Super reforms and will provide penalties for those who promote schemes which undermine the Government's retirement policy" Mr Shorten said.

Promoters of illegal early release schemes have in the past exploited vulnerable people within our community by encouraging applications for rollover of superannuation balances. In these situations the promoters have taken fees of up to 50% of the member's superannuation balance.

Promoters of these schemes generally target non-English speaking communities and take advantage of those who may not be fully aware of the rules regarding accessing superannuation benefits.

Some schemes have facilitated up to $8 million in illegal release of superannuation benefits and generated millions in commissions for promoters. In some cases promoters have gone further and exploited identity data for other criminal purposes or actually stolen the entire balance.

"Introduction of these penalties is an important step to protect the integrity of the superannuation scheme and

prevent people's entire superannuation savings being stolen" Mr Shorten said.

Legislation giving effect to this measure is being progressed and will commence on Royal Assent.

Information regarding planned commencement dates for other Stronger Super measures is available on the Stronger Super website.

13 July 2012